Nearly 3 million students served same lunch menu

Urban School Food Alliance's six districts shows solidarity by serving same menu for a day.

March 21—As a statement of solidarity in serving healthy meals to students, the Urban School Food Alliance (USFA), which consists of some of the largest school districts in the country, served the same lunch menu to more than 2.9 million students March 20.

The six school districts, New York City Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, officially formed USFA earlier this year to use their purchasing power to continue to improve food quality for students while driving down costs.

The lunch menu featured roasted chicken, brown rice with seasoned black or red beans, steamed green broccoli, fresh seasonal fruit and milk.

"This show of solidarity is unprecedented," Los Angeles Unified School District Food Services Director David Binkle said in a press release. "It demonstrates that all the school districts in the alliance can work together to implement the same programs while serving nutritious meals to our students."

The Urban School Food Alliance first met in Denver in 2012 and has since kept in communication regularly via telephone. The foodservice directors from each of the school districts share and review menu items to ensure that they provide access to meals that meet the USDA's nutrient recommendations. In addition to creating a purchasing powerhouse, the coalition is working to be more ecologically friendly in their respective districts. As a whole, the alliance procures more than $530 million in food and food supplies annually. 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
change ahead sign large

The reality is that some people don’t like change. But as long as you partner with employees, there shouldn’t be major staff fallout.

It can be tricky to find the balance between listening to your team’s point of view on the changes and avoiding giving your power away. You may accept many or few recommendations, but you need to be able to explain your decisions. Regular department meetings to complete that circle of communication take more time, but it’s more efficient than doing damage control after the fact.

I’ve seen folks refuse to do a job based on their new job...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd marketing ideas

[ View the story "Marketing and operations ideas worth stealing" on Storify ]
Industry News & Opinion

Some Washington, D.C., foodservice operators may soon be required to provide staff with paid leave, as the city council on Tuesday passed one of the most extensive paid leave plans in the nation.

Barring a veto by Mayor Muriel Bowser, the measure mandates that all private sector employers in the district offer workers eight weeks of parental time off and six weeks to care for a sick relative.

While operators will not directly compensate workers—who will be paid 90% of their wages through a government-run insurance program—they will be hit with a 0.62% increase to employer...

Industry News & Opinion

Dallas Independent School District will serve breakfast and lunch over winter break for the first time this year, Dallas News reports.

Any child under 18 will be able to participate in the meal program, which will be offered in 12 cafeterias.

The Texas district will be partially reimbursed for the meals, receiving $3.39 per lunch served and 86 cents per breakfast. The remaining costs, which include paying cafeteria staff and supervisors, will be picked up by the district.

Read the full story via dallasnews.com .

FSD Resources